• May 18, 2022

The Cheshire Cat Remedy: Agrimony

Some years ago, I was at Disneyland with a very intuitive person. As we were strolling along we saw a figure of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Upon seeing the image of that smiling cat, she turned to me and asked, “Why would agrimony come to my mind when I see him?” I knew that the smile of that cat hid  a rather cynical and devious nature and knowing the indications for agrimony as a flower remedy, I answered, “Because agrimony flower essence is helpful for people who hide…

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  • May 10, 2022

Wild Indigo or Baptisia

One of the best things about being part of the American Herbalist Guild for me has been becoming friends with some incredible herbalists. One of these valued herbal colleagues is David Winston, founder of Herbalist and Alchemist. He is part native American and well versed in both traditional and modern scientific information about herbs as well as differentiating why you would use one herb over another in specific conditions. One of the herbs I learned about from David Winston is Baptisia or wild…

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  • May 3, 2022

Dulse: Medicine from the Sea

When my children were young, one of the supplements I would give them was liquid dulse. It was naturally sweet, because it was a glycerin extract, so my kids liked it, and it had many health benefits for them too.Dulse (Rhodymenia palmate) is a red seaweed that grows in cold waters along the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  And like other seaweeds, it is a source of iodine, which is necessary for thyroid health. Iodine is a natural antiseptic so it helps the body fight infections…

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  • April 26, 2022

Yellow Dock

The doctrine of signatures is the idea that the characteristics of a plant give clues as to its uses. This is a very old idea in herbalism, and even if it’s not always reliable, it can be very helpful in associating plants with their uses. Yellow dock is a good example of the doctrine of signatures. As the plant dries out in the fall it turns a rusty color, which associates it with iron. In Advanced Treatise in Herbology, Edward Shook says that all the docks (Rumex sp.), not just yellow dock…

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  • April 19, 2022

Parsley: More Than a Garnish

Have you ever been served a meal with a sprig of parsley on the plate as a garnish? It used to be a common practice, although you don’t see it as much these days. If you do see parsley on your plate, though, I hope you eat it. Parsley is more than just a fancy garnish, it’s also a wonderful medicinal herb for digestive and urinary health. Parsley is both stimulating and nourishing to the kidneys. It contains a volatile oil that is excreted through the kidneys, thus stimulating urination. But,…

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  • April 12, 2022

Horsetail and Health

Horsetail is one of the first wild plants I knew how to identify. One of its common names is joint grass and I remember how as a child I enjoyed pulling the stem sections apart at the joints and trying to reassemble them like a plant-based jigsaw puzzle. Another common name is scouring rush, and I learned the reason for that moniker as a boy scout. You can actually use the plant like a scouring pad to help clean the dishes. There are two basic varieties you’ll find. The one that gives it the…

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  • April 5, 2022

Bee Healthy

Bees are amazing creatures, and without them, many of the crops we depend on for food would not grow properly. They also produce three substances that we can use for healing—bee pollen, propolis, and honey. We’ll discuss each of these briefly in this article. Bee PollenAs bees fly from flower to flower collecting nectar to make honey, flower pollen collects on their legs. When this is mixed with enzyme secretions, it forms the golden granules we call bee pollen. In the hive, pollen is used…

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  • March 29, 2022

The Value of Oats as Medicine

Along with wheat and barley, oats are another excellent example of a grass that is both a food and a medicine. With a long history of cultivation as a food crop, oats originated in three separate geographic regions, Abyssinia, the Mediterranean and China. Today, oats (Avena sativa) are grown in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, UK, Spain, and Germany.The Oat Type The grain (seed) is harvested and milled to produce oatmeal and oat groats. The oat grain is a highly nutritious whole grain that…

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